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PAGE LAST UPDATED: May 12, 2020

Explaining How Evictions Work

Online Q&A Event for Tenants and Landlords Presented by Project Sentinel May 13

Non-profit rental housing mediator Project Sentinel and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley are scheduled to host a question and answer session to explain how the eviction process works and how eviction moratoriums affect the eviction process. If you have questions you would like to ask regarding these topics, please email your questions to Project Sentinel representative Michael Dittmer at mdittmer@housing.org. Event details and how to participate are included in the event flyer.

Event Details

Date: May 13

Time: 7:00 PM

Cost: Free

Event Flyer in English

Event Flyer in Spanish

Event Flyer in Vietnamese

Questions?

Email: mdittmer@housing.org 

Countywide Moratorium on Residential and Commercial Evictions in Effect

On March 24, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors enacted a moratorium on "no-fault" evictions and evictions for non-payment of rent for residential and commercial tenants resulting from a substantial loss of income and/or substantial out-of-pocket medical costs caused by COVID-19. The moratorium applies to all cities countywide and is supported by Governor Newsom’s Executive Order issued on March 16, 2020. The County’s moratorium will last until May 31, 2020, unless extended or repealed by the County.

While the ordinance neither relieves a tenant of the obligation to pay rent nor restricts a landlord’s ability to recover rent due, the measure does prevent evictions from occurring in the midst of this crisis. Key aspects of the ordinance include:

  • Prohibits eviction for failure to pay rent for renters financially affected by the COVID-19 crisis
  • Applies to both residential and small business commercial rentals
  • Applies to renters who can document “substantial loss” as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
  • Landlords cannot charge or collect late fees for rent delayed while the ordinance is in effect and 120 days after its expiration

County Moratorium Resources 

Forms, frequently asked questions and resources for tenants and landlords regarding the eviction moratorium are available from the County of Santa Clara and include:

Other Resources

Information for Landlords 

Per the County’s moratorium, a landlord who initiates an eviction for non-payment of rent or a no-fault cause during the moratorium, must:

  • Provide tenants with the Reason for Termination of Tenancy or Eviction stating the reason for the eviction and notice of the tenants’ rights when serving the notice of termination; and
  • Provide resources for rental assistance programs

Landlords still have a right to collect rent if the tenant qualifies for protection under the moratorium. However, the tenant has until 120 days after the moratorium expires to repay rent and the landlord cannot charge a late fee This moratorium does not apply to otherwise lawful or at-fault evictions for reasons other than non-payment of rent due to a substantial loss and/or out-of-pocket medical expense caused by COVID-19.

Information for Tenants 

Per the County’s moratorium, a renter can provide the Notice to Landlord of Eviction Protection with documentation of substantial income loss and/or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses caused by COVID-19 as soon as possible.

Examples of substantial loss of income due to COVID-19 include:

  • Job loss or reduced work hours
  • Missed work to care for a family member infected with COVID-19 or a child due to school closure
  • If the business qualifies as a small business, closure of a place of business or substantial decrease in business income

Examples of documentation tenants can provide include:

  • Letters from your employer, a doctor, or your child’s school citing COVID-19 as the reason for reduced work, missing work, or school closure
  • Paycheck stubs from before and during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Bank statements showing your financial situation before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Landlords must provide tenants with the Reason for Termination of Tenancy or Eviction explaining why they are being evicted, and what their rights are, as well as assistance programs if landlords try to evict tenants.

Tenant/Landlord Disputes

Campbell Rental Increase Dispute Program

The City of Campbell encourages property owners to limit rent increases to fair and reasonable amounts, provide greater than minimum advance notice of increases, limit the number of rent increases in any one year to as few as possible, provide well maintained living units, discourage retaliatory evictions, and cooperate with their tenants toward resolving any disputes.  

Project Sentinel

Project Sentinel is a non-profit organization that assists individuals with housing problems such as discrimination, mortgage foreclosure & delinquency, rental issues including repairs, deposits, privacy, dispute resolution, home buyer education, post purchase education and reverse mortgages.

Campbell renters and rental property owners may contact Project Sentinel which manages the Campbell Rent Mediation Program. Project Sentinel provides information and counseling regarding rights and responsibilities under California tenant landlord law and the Campbell ordinance. 

Contact Information

Phone: (408) 243-8565 

Business Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 4:00

Website: Housing.org

Contact a Project Sentinel Case Manager

Renters or owners of complexes with four or more units are also eligible for conciliation and mediation through the Rent Mediation Program.  

Disputing a Rent Increase or Service Reduction

  • A tenant must first contact the owner/manager and make a reasonable, good faith effort to resolve the dispute.
  • If that effort does not resolve the dispute, the tenant may open a case by filing a petition with the Campbell Rent Mediation Program (petition forms are supplied upon request).
  • If the petition is for a rent increase, the petition must be filed within 15 days of the effective date of the increase.
  • If the petition is for a service reduction, a service reduction form must be filed with the petition forms.
  • Once the Program receives the petition, a copy of the petition is mailed to the property owner/manager, for review. Then, the administrator of the program will contact the property owner/manager to begin dispute resolution discussions.